Q: Is this a new version of ActiveReports?
A: No, ActiveReports Server is a new server-based solution focused on web-based ad hoc self-service reporting for business users and IT departments.
Q: How is ActiveReports Server licensed?
A: ActiveReports Server is licensed per server with no per-user fees and no run-time royalties! You purchase a perpetual license, meaning you pay one time and use the license for as long as you want.
Q: Is ActiveReports Server royalty free?
A: Yes, with ActiveReports Server, you never have to pay run-time royalties, ever.
Q: What kind of licensing will I need for my Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application?
A: The ActiveReports Server Software Companies and SaaS Edition (per server) license can be used for your SaaS application regardless of the number of users using the application subject to scalability considerations.
Q: If I need to scale out to support a large number of users, do I need to buy another Server license at the same price?
A: ActiveReports Server has a Managed Agent-based architecture that makes it economical for you to scale out by adding Managed Agents that work with the main server to share the processing workload and help scale out.
When you buy an Enterprise or Software Companies and SaaS Edition license, you get 1 Server license and 2 Managed Agents. As your needs grow you can add more Managed Agents (@ $5K each) up to a maximum of 5 Managed Agents for each Server license that you buy.
Q: Do you have a pricing model for software companies that want to distribute ActiveReports Server licenses to their customers as part of their applications?
A: Yes, we are currently in the process of finalizing the pricing model for this exact scenario. Please contact us on our Web site so that we can discuss your needs.
Q: Can I upgrade from my ActiveReports editions to ActiveReports Server?
A: ActiveReports Server is a new product that is server based and focused on the needs of business users and IT departments who would like to deploy sophisticated self-service reporting quickly. While the product does come with an SDK that developers can use to embed the out-of-the-box features into their applications, the target audience, the licensing model and the architecture are very different from ActiveReports Standard and ActiveReports Professional editions. Therefore, there is no direct upgrade path to the new product.
Q: Why should I consider adding ActiveReports Server to my ActiveReports and Data Dynamics Reports applications?
A: ActiveReports Server can import ActiveReports (.rpx) files and Data Dynamics Reports (.rdlx) files as well as instantly add these features to your existing applications:
Web-based self-service reporting and administration portals
Centralized rendering and report browsing support
Scalable server-side storage and role-based security
Out-of-the-box scheduling and distribution features
You get all of these server side features out-of-the-box with minimal additional effort.
In addition, you can now offer rich ad hoc self-service reporting to your end users with the included ActiveReports Server report designer.
Q: What is the key difference between ActiveReports and ActiveReports Server?
A: ActiveReports is designed for software developers who need precise control over their reports and want to build customized reporting solutions that mostly publish canned reports to the end users.
ActiveReports Server is designed from the ground up to provide a stunningly rich reporting solution for business users who design, preview and distribute sophisticated ad hoc reports from within a drag & drop reporting environment in their Web browser. It includes a scalable server platform and an SDK for embedding the end user reporting features into third-party software applications.
Q: What is the difference between the End User Report Designer that ships with ActiveReports Professional and the ActiveReports Server’s ad hoc report designer for business users?
A: ActiveReports developers customize the end user report designer user interface and the database tables and fields in code before exposing these to their users at run time. The end users typically are technical and they understand technology and database concepts.
In ActiveReports Server, the IT or technical staff generate and customize logical data models, derived from the underlying database. These data models provide a familiar business context to business users who do not typically have much technical knowledge and allow them to use the rich browser-based ad hoc report designer to design and deliver reports without involving IT.
Q: Can existing reports designed with ActiveReports be used with the ActiveReports Server Report Designer?
A: Yes and no. ActiveReports offers great flexibility with advanced SQL, and even allows arrays and business objects to be used as data sources. It is not feasible for end users to manipulate the data in these advanced data source scenarios. However, you can upload ActiveReports XML-based reports (.rpx files) to the server to take advantage of the centralized distribution and scalable report execution environment.
Soon we will provide a way to design the ActiveReports XML-based reports (.rpx files) via a click-once designer for end users. This won’t allow end users to modify the data source, but it will allow them to customize the reports.
Q: Can I use the browser-based end-user report designer without the server?
A: The advanced drag & drop designer works very closely with the server to take advantage of the logical model of the database and uses it for report storage, execution, and report security, so the designer does require the server.
However, you don’t have to ever show the server to your end users. The included ASP.NET controls and Web services enable seamless integration with your existing applications.